Various decorations will fill the halls of the St. Thomas Lutheran Church at 7 p.m. Oct. 25 for the Annual Spooktacular Halloween Organ Recital.
The event is put on by the IU chapter of the American Guild of Organists which is student-run, but the organists work with outreach opportunities as well as operating within the campus.
“We kind of have a dual role in the university and the community,” said Kira Garvie, dean of the IU chapter of the Guild.
The recital is long-running and has developed as a Bloomington tradition over time. Garvie mentioned some of the memories some Facebook followers shared about the event in years past.
“There were some alums commenting stories of the professors playing duets and throwing candy corn over their shoulders,” Garvie said. “And that was a long time ago.”
Organ department chair, Janette Fishell, will be performing along with current students at the Jacobs School of Music. They will be performing a range of festive music including Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” and the “Ghostbusters Theme."
“Halloween and the organ have such a strong association with one another that we like to play into that and do a concert that’s not all serious concert repertoire but also not what you would hear on Sunday morning in a church,” Garvie said. “It’s fun, light and silly.”
The performance includes skits and jokes and free raffle tickets will be distributed for prizes. The Sugar and Spice Cafe will also provide allergen-free refreshments for guests and candy will be available.
“I think it’s important to also provide alternatives to trick or treating,” Garvie said. “We do tend to gear it toward a younger audience. Of course, all ages are welcome, but it is put on to be kid-friendly.”
Admission for the recital is free, as are all events organized by IU’s Guild of Organists. While the concert is in the St. Thomas Lutheran Church on Third Street, it is not religiously affiliated.
“I hope that no one feels any restrictions in coming to our concerts,” Garvie said. “One of the things that I think is a challenge is that we are limited by the fact that organs are in churches, but we really put a lot of thought into our programming so that it is for everyone.”
Costumes are welcome for this festivity. Garvie emphasizes that this can be a space where organ music is enjoyed in an unconventional way, making it more accessible to everyone.
“I don’t think you could show up to a concert in a onesie shark suit, but that’s how people are going on Friday,” Garvie said.